According to the figures published in the most recent English Housing Survey, (2010 –2011) home-ownership continues to be a mere pipe dream for those looking to own their own home. According to the Study, only 14.45 million (66%) of English folks live in their own homes, a decline of 1% on figures from the 2009/2010 study.
It’s also no surprise that the number of people accommodated within the private rented sector has risen. The annual report carried out by the Office of National Statistics revealed that an increase of 8% of people or 3.62 million and a whopping 16.5% of private households are now opting for homes with private landlords. Considering that in 2001, only 10% of the English population rented privately, the interest in the private rented sector has resulted in a steadily increase of rents. The survey further showed the average rent in the private rented sector as about £160 per week, while in the social rented sector, average rents were about £70 per week.
Because of demand for rented property from private landlords, mobility within the sector has shrunk. Private tenants looking for larger properties are finding suitable accommodation for growing families difficult to come by. Figures from the report show that overcrowding is just as prevalent as with the social sector. Whereas 7% of social renters were victim to overcrowding, close behind them, 6% of private renters also have problems with overcrowding.
The Rise of Generation Rent
The survey also revealed that 10% of all owner-occupiers were under the age of 35, but over 50% of all private renters were in this age group. While it’s good news for private landlords, the double edged sword is not without it’s faults as the number of under 35-year-olds fail to get that all important first step on the property ladder.
With the private rented sector taking up the slack of the housing gap, there is still not enough available housing stock to go around, with as many as 6 tenants vying for each available private rented property that comes on the market.
According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, (CML) the number of buy-to-let properties rose by 84,000 in 2011 but buy-to-let is still relatively subdued, despite landlords grabbing £160 billion worth of property.
Lettings Agents and Property Services, Countrywide have also noted a 24% increase of new tenants registering for private rented accommodation in 2011, when compared to 2010, another massive 275,000 new tenants all searching for property to rent. London still appears to be the region of most growth….and of increasing rents than any other region. Countrywide’s quarterly report also confirm that an increasing number of properties are snapped up by tenants before they are even advertised and any property that does make it to the advertising stage is let on average within 13.6 days.